Evening Prayer: June 11th (Combo Post)

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Psalms: 25, 9, 15
Old Testament: 1 Samuel 18:5-16, 27b-30
New Testament: Acts 11:19-30
Gospel: Mark 1:29-45
Patristic Reading: An excerpt from the Rule of St. Benedict

That evening, at sunset, they brought to him all who were sick or possessed with demons………. [The next day]in the morning, while it was still very dark, he got up and went out to a deserted place, and there he prayed. (Mark 1:32;35)

It strikes me as funny that Mark would go out of his way to mention that Jesus both healed the sick and prayed while it was evening/when it was still dark .

Night and darkness implies a hidden-ness…..something that is unseen. As I read this tonight, I think about those things we do behind the scenes…..or those people that quietly observe us and help us along the way without being obtrusive….

Maybe this passage speaks to the fact that we need the introverts and the silence as much as we need the extroverts and the labour for the kingdom…or as St. Benedict might suggest: Obedience, prayer and work. +

Evening Prayer: June 10th

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Psalm: 107:1-32
Gospel: Luke 10:38-42
Patristic Reading: An excerpt from a treatise on the Holy Trinity by St. Hilary

Mary and Martha by He Qi 

So……..this post is gonna read more like a confession than a full-out reflection…..but part of me hopes that a) readers will get something out of it and b) that maybe someone in this universe (or maybe even someone within Churchland) has the same problem I do.

My problem is not the problem of Martha. I’m not always busy….I’m not stressed with my tasks…..in the vast majority of cases, I am very laid back. In fact, for those that really know me……they will tell you–with as much love as possible– that I am one lazy dude :(.

I am a very happy and introverted Mary-type. I could sit and listen to music, sermons and Scripture all day.

The funny thing is….what I hear in those words is not always to my liking. Love my enemies???? Pray for those who persecute me???? Go and make disciples out of all nations???? Be a harvester for God’s kingdom???

Eeew….can’t I just sit and here contemplate God’s love instead??? :S

Many many times I have contemplated monastic life……but for me–assuming I could find a First Order who would accept someone with CP–the contemplative life is almost too good.

For me…the cloistered life is the easy way out. A way to escape doing important work that needs to be done….work that the Spirit in Her Wisdom is calling me to do.

So even though Jesus applauds Mary for listening, I think he would be just as quick to say–as he does in so many parables and teachings–“Come and follow me.”

Morning Prayer: Feb. 10th

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Psalms: 146, 147
Old Testament: Isaiah 60:1-17
New Testament: 2 Timothy 2:14-26

His delight is not in the strength of the horse,
nor his pleasure in the speed of a runner;*
but the Lord takes pleasure in those who fear him,
in those who hope in his steadfast love. (Psalm 147:10-11)

In today’s culture, I can’t help getting the feeling that we are defined not by who we are, but by what we do. As a recent graduate from post-secondary education, I cannot tell you the number of people who have asked me (in various different forms)….”So what’s next?”

This isn’t necessarily a bad thing……Work indeed is a source for feeling dignity and self-worth. The asking of this question also shows that the person asking you cares and/or is curious about your well-being.

I have faith that–in the very near future–I will find a steady source of income and a position in practicing ministry. But one of the things that disturbs me greatly about this line of thinking and interacting is that it is extremely limited.

What about those who cannot find work??? Are they any less valuable to society? What of those who have no idea what they want to do with their lives, or who have very little sense of direction??? Are they somehow lost in the shuffle of this action-oriented world???

This is where I find the Biblical perspective refreshing. God isn’t necessarily concerned with what we do so much as he is concerned with who we are

God wants to know whether we are walking with him in faith. If we are, than what we do will naturally follow from our mindset. As we set our minds on God…our bodies will naturally follow suit.

Whereas the modern world is all about action, God is about intention. True intention will lead to transformation in our words, actions, and daily living. Let’s concentrate on that starting point, rather than worry about what’s coming next. +

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